The Northern Crusades: Second Edition by Eric Christiansen

By Eric Christiansen

The 'Northern Crusades', encouraged via the Pope's demand a Holy conflict, are much less celebrated than these within the heart East, yet they have been additionally extra profitable: large new territories grew to become and stay Christian, equivalent to Finland, Estonia and Prussia. Newly revised within the mild of the hot advancements in Baltic and northerly medieval examine, this authoritative evaluation offers a balanced and compelling account of a tumultuous period.

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Dealing briefly with all these big subjects, and linking them to the far north of Europe, has not been easy; and an English reader may well ask, is it worthwhile? There are several reasons for answering yes. In the first place, the Northern crusades were a part of a wider Western drive, and if that is to be studied it should be studied in full – in the most unlikely places, and in the most peculiar forms. The Holy Wars of the Mediterranean brought about spectacular conquests, and enduring obsessions, but amounted in the end to a sad waste of time, money and life.

Spanheim (1415–24)Paul v. Russdorf (1422–41)Cisso v. Rutenberg (1424–33)Conrad v. Erlichshausen (1441–9)Franke v. Kersdorf (1433–5)Ludwig v. Erlichshausen (1450–67)Heinrich Schlungel v. Buckenvorde (1435–8)Hei(de)nrich Vinke v. Overbergen (1438–50)GRAND-MASTERS AT KöNIGSBERGHeinrich Reuss v. Plauen (1469–70)Johann Osthof v. Mengden (1450–69)Heinrich Reffle v. Richtenberg (1470–77)Johann Wolthus v. Herse (1470–71)Martin Truchess v. Wetzhausen (1477–89)Bernt v. der Borg (1471–83)Johann v. Tiefen (1489–97)Johann Freitag v.

In such a climate, old wounds do not heal, and old quarrels are not forgotten, even by historians. The interpretation of conflicts between Christianity and paganism, between Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, between German, Balt and Slav, still rouses passion after the ending of the Cold War. The work on which the first edition of this book was based was composed in haste over twenty years ago, and the author has had time to repent of the many errors and misconceptions which it contained.

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